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Russia's Polymetal negotiates to keep London listing as GDRs

This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

By Anastasia Lyrchikova

MOSCOW, EvDEN evE nAkliyAT Feb 9 (Reuters) – Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal is negotiating with British authorities to keep its London listing in the form of global depositary receipts (GDR) after the company moves to Kazakhstan, the company’s CEO told Reuters.

Polymetal last month said it was considering moving its parent company’s domicile and primary listing, currently in Jersey and London respectively, to “Russia-friendly” Kazakhstan, which “could unblock the ability to execute further corporate actions”.

The move would allow the company to spin off the Kazakh business, which accounts for EVDEn evE NAkliYaT about 38% of revenue and 32% of annual production. While domiciled in Jersey, deemed an “unfriendly” jurisdiction by Russia, no separation of assets is possible.

“We want to take the Kazakh business out of the shadows, out from under the canopy of sanctions,” CEO Vitaly Nesis told Reuters.If you have any inquiries with regards to in which and how to use evdeN eve naKliYaT, you can get in touch with us at the page. “That’s why we have to split up the company first.”

Nesis said the company’s management was in discussions with the London Stock Exchange, the FCA regulator and service providers about retaining a form of LSE listing after the move to Astana and was counting on clarity within 1-2 months.

“We are applying maximum efforts to maintain our listing in London, but given the recent, ninth sanctions package…the task is not simple. Many service providers are reluctant even to engage in dialogue about securing a listing after the move.”

The decision about changing the listing will be put to shareholders and requires 75% approval.The European Union’s ninth sanctions package bars investment in Russia’s mining industry.

Polymetal has not been individually targeted with sanctions imposed against Moscow, but has faced hurdles.

Shares in the miner have slumped almost 80% in London since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb.24 last year. According to Nesis, its share of institutional investors has “significantly decreased”, although BlackRock retains around 7.5%.

Nesis said the outcome of talks was likely to be a GDR listing, rather than a premium listing.

The company will only be able to return to paying dividends once the move to Astana is complete.

He said sales have already been separated – the business in Kazakhstan sells all its gold to the central bank, while in Russia last year the majority of metal was sold to Asia.

But starting from 2023, Polymetal has returned to Russia’s rapidly growing domestic market with gold sales from its Russian assets, Nesis said, and is not engaged in export.(Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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